Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish have arrived in the St. Marys inlet, watch where the birds are having a feeding frenzy.
Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish have arrived on the scene in the St. Marys inlet. Look for birds working an area where these toothy striking fish have slashed through schools of baitfish leaving scraps for the diving seabirds to dine upon. When these speedy fish really get worked up you can follow them easily with your boat as they rocket through the air and thrash around on the surface in a feeding frenzy. If there is no sign of birds, bait, or thrashing fish keep an eye on your depth recorder and you may see large blobs, usually near structure, indicating the presence of fish.
I prefer to troll around 10 knots with medium weight rods with small planers to put the lures, spoons etc… at different levels in the water column. Pictured is a PVC type planer, but the smallest metal ones work equally as well or even a small 2 to 3 ounce trolling sinker in the absence of a planer. Attach the planer directly to your line then tie a length of about ten feet of 40# flourocarbon leader between the planer and the lure.
A small Clark spoon or similar flashy lure with a single hook is advisable as these fish thrash wildly once boated and single hook lures are easier to remove from a struggling fish and are less likely to wind up stuck to a fisherman. Trolling the planer set up farther back will set the lure deeper as will increasing boat speed, keep adjusting these variables until you find the right combination to produce strikes. A poor man’s Bluefish and Spanish Mack lure can simply be a long shank hook with a length of colorful drinking straw slipped over it (pictured).
Good areas to fish in this manner are around the range marker near Fort Clinch and around the jetty rocks in the inlet. Keep a heavy spinning rod on the ready as Cobia will be lurking in these areas soon if not already. Call me if you wish to fish, the summer action is getting hot!
Captain Jim Wormhoudt